Episode 140 - 3 Steps to Using Tabletop Games in the Classroom
8:49PM May 17, 2021
Board Gaming with Education
What's up big gamers. Today we are going to talk about how to design resources to support the use of tabletop games in the classroom, and potentially at home too. So let's jump in.
Board Gaming with Education, a podcast for anyone curious about how games and education mix, we explore various topics like game based learning, gamification, and board games, and the impacts they have on learning. here's your host, Dustin Staats.
So this is a perfect week for the topic of this video cast episode because we are looking for teachers or homeschool parents or anyone else interested in designing similar resources for our Board Gaming with Education website. We will be posting an announcement on our website very soon. But if you cannot wait for that announcement, and you are interested in helping us design these resources and want to learn more, you can send me an email podcast at Board Gaming with Education comm Otherwise, I will be leaving a link to that announcement when it is up below in the video description. And another reason why I chose this topic for this week's video cast episode is because the summer is fast approaching. And for me during the summer, when I was in the classroom, my favorite time was the summertime to be able to really dive into my lessons and create some fun experiences for my students through different lesson planning or course planning. So if you are interested in designing a game based lesson for one of your classes this upcoming next semester, or maybe you're going into summer school looking for a way to create a game based learning lesson, then you can enroll in Board Gaming with Education game based lesson development course. By the end of the course you will have a game based lesson plan or plans depending on the content ready for implementation. So this course includes a step by step guide for implementing your game based learning lesson, video content to help you with designing that lesson, individual's feedback and support from myself. Also examples from other students as well as myself on game based learning lessons. And finally, a digital certificate for you to download. We do have an optional paid print version of that sort of kit if you need a physical certificate as well. So to get a special discount on the course and join our email community below, you'll receive a discount code for the course and receive updates about Board Gaming with Education, get access to other resources on the web through that email newsletter, and learn about other awesome tabletop games. Also this year, the course will close later on this summer, or when a certain number of students enroll within a certain period of time. So I will potentially close the course down right away if enough students enroll because I want to be able to support each student enrolled in the course. So if we get a lot of enrollees, then it's going to close. So if you are interested, don't wait to sign up. Finally, if you have any questions, you can send me an email podcast at Board Gaming with education.com. Alright, let's get into today's topic. Alright, for today's episode, we are going to look at how to implement a tabletop game as a part
of your learning environment. We're going to look at some supplemental activities or materials you might design around that tabletop game and some things you might consider. So we can do this successfully. So if you are listening to us on your favorite podcasting platform, I encourage you to come on over to YouTube, check us out, check out what we're doing with some visuals over on YouTube. And if you are on YouTube, please subscribe, hit that bell notification because that helps us share our content with more people. And finally, if you are on the podcast, you will still enjoy this episode. So let's get into the content. So to premise this conversation or this topic, I want to say that the things I talked about now are very important and also relate to just gain based lesson plan development or even learning design in general. So a lot of these things are important to consider when we're designing a lesson. So let's get into the specifics of using tabletop games to design a game based lesson. So first, let's look at how we would design a game based lesson integrated as a part of what we want to establish as our classroom culture. So we need to keep that in mind and how our game based lesson will integrate the part of our class culture, our school culture as a whole, our classroom management and also even our larger student and city demographics. So these are important things to consider when implementing game based lesson or any lesson design. So using my personal experience, I like to introduce game based learning as One of the first things I do in the semester, that is because I want to make it very clear that we are going to use AR games in my class for establishing learning. So I use the game two truths and a lie for language teaching. So I use this game, because it gives me an opportunity to one introduce myself to my students to get to know my students, because they will also play the game and re practice a little bit of English and get in front of the classroom and share a little bit too, I really want to establish a an environment in my classroom that is conducive to being willing to share and practice their language, and also kind of ease some tension tension by playing a game. So that is one of the reasons why I implement this game at the beginning of my semester. And then I can get into more complicated or structured games as a part of my lessons. So that's when I get into using tabletop games. Because I've established this idea of games and game based learning practicing language through games, then I want to jump into using tabletop games. And I do this by first, the first thing I do is assessing my learning outcomes for that lesson or for my course as a whole. So each unit might have a different lesson or grammar, structure or vocabulary that we are learning looking at and learning in class. And I'll take a tabletop game, and I'll look at how I can use that tabletop game to target those learning outcomes. And with that, there are two ways you might use the tabletop game to target your learning outcomes in class. Number one, which is a bit more challenging and takes a lot of work is designing your own game based game. So you might design a game that's targeting your lesson outcomes. As an aside, something that I'm not going to dive into too much, I designed a negotiation game for my students, asking them to use different grammar structures and practice different vocabulary as a part of the game. So that's something I designed. Now, what we're going to talk about in our episode today is looking at a game that's already made, and modifying it to fit our learning outcomes and our classroom environment. Before we get into the specifics of lesson design, and what kind of activities or supplemental materials we can use, I want to say there are some things to keep in mind when choosing a game for your classroom, you can check out the video that I have above here. This is tips for implementing tabletop games in your classroom, I go over some things like the player amounts and what you might do to modify that if the game only accommodates like, let's say five people, and you want to use it for your classroom of 20. Or why you might choose a game that is simple to teach and how you might teach a game as a part of your classroom environment or using tabletop games in your learning environment as well. So check out that video. So we're gonna get into now some specifics of lesson design. So my personal background is using tabletop games to teach the English language. But Board Gaming with Education as a whole uses tabletop games to target a wide variety of learning outcomes, including soft skills and other content areas. I'm going to share a personal example of a lesson plan that I've used and what kind of supplemental materials you can use around the lesson to teach a learning outcome for English language teaching. And then we're going to look at an example from Board Gaming with Education, we're going to look at a science based game. So these two examples are going to be a general idea of what you might do to use tabletop games. So you can use some of these general assumptions and use it for whatever content area or learning outcome you are targeting. So let's look at one lesson that I've used in my personal experience with the game werewolf. So if you are not familiar with the game world, essentially it's two teams and you don't know who is on whose team. So the villagers have to figure out who
the werewolves are. So it's something called a social deduction game. So you're socially trying to discover who the werewolf is by communicating with other players. I use this game because it's a perfect example of a way to practice language and target specific grammar structures that you find one playing the game. So let's look at something on the Board Gaming with Education website. We can see here this is how I targeted different learning outcomes and grammar learning outcomes in the game. In the game you use expressions like I think Dustin is aware of because he is quiet. In this lesson we can practice and use expressions on forming and opinion practice model verbs and using a level of certainty in the speech. Alright, now that we have our learning outcomes, We know what we're targeting, we know what our students want to learn in our lesson. Let's look at some supplemental activities, we can design around the game to practice and reinforce that content. So these are just some examples, I'm sure you can come up with a lot of different examples. And I would love to hear them below in the comments if you have other ideas. Or if you use Werewolf in your classroom, and maybe how you've used it for language teaching, or I know it's a great game to practice some
in psychology. So I'd love to hear that too. That's something I've done in my course. And if you're interested in learning more about how I've used it in an enrichment program, leave a comment below. And I'll make a video about that too. But these are some examples. So one thing you could do is you can ask students to watch a how to video of how to play the game in groups. And in groups, they come up with an idea of how to play the game together. And then you can ask them to present that idea of how to play the game to the class. And as a class, you kind of work through how to play the game together by practicing language, practicing instruction, practicing listening, and then you can play the game after another thing you can do as as they play the game, ask them to record themselves on their phone. And then they can transcribe their dialogue and their speech and then go back and look at some ways to make correction some mistakes they might have made in speaking, that they can go back to and realize in text that they can change. Another thing you can do, similar to the transcription, have them transcribe their dialogue and speech, then look at the examples of grammar structures that come up in the game, and see how they might change those grammar structures to other ways of using the language. So you might say I think that Dustin is aware of because you can change that grammar structure too. I think we need more food for our school event, because again, using the same grammar structures, and finally, you might combine those three things, you might have them learn how to play the game, then play the game and then have a debrief activity. So combining all of those supplemental activities together into one longer lesson. Finally, these are just some examples of how you can pull the learning outcomes from the game and create supplemental learning materials to reinforce that learning. So you can do this with a lot of different games and content areas to at Board Gaming. With Education, we're always looking at how to design supplemental learning materials around different tabletop games. Let's take a look at a game from our science based line of games, our flux game so let's look into a resource that we've designed around this tabletop card game going to look at chemistry flux, this is a game we carry by the board game publisher Looney labs, so we're super excited to have this game in our store. And this is something that you get complimentary if you purchase any board games from Board Gaming with Education that come with these learning resources. So for example, chemistry flux, we're going to look at some of these learning resources we've designed and how you might be able to use some of these examples to create supplemental materials to implement a tabletop game in your learning environment. So chemistry flux is a draw in play card game, you draw cards, you play cards, you're trying to complete goals in chemistry flux, your goal is to create different compounds. So this is a perfect way to implement game based learning for chemistry. With every Board Gaming with Education game that comes with resources, we have our first ideas for using these tabletop games as a part of your learning environment. One example for chemistry flux is using it as an opening activity. To begin the study of elements compounds, matter and interactions are for the periodic table. Here's just one example of about eight or nine different examples. On this page. We also talk about some materials and an overview of the game. Something else that also you can view on our website with any game that comes with resources. For example, with this one chemistry flux, the objective of the game, the vocabulary that might be used in the game, as well as how it aligns to different standards, like Common Core 21st century skills or Next Generation Science Standards. Alright, so now let's look at some of the supplemental materials you'll find with chemistry flux and Board Gaming with Education comm and how you can use some of these ideas to use it for any tabletop game that you might want to implement in your learning environment. So first up is our let the dice roll supplemental questions activity, you can use this for any tabletop game. We'll go over that today. Also our comprehension handout. So we've created some comprehension questions based around the game chemistry flux of vocabulary matrix that you can use as supplemental materials based on some games that you might use in your classroom. And then also a create your own cards activities. So this is an example of how you can take a game and add some things to it by helping students create what they have learned. So let's start with the let the dice roll activity. So this is something very basic to center and focus students on the game and how
they are not just playing a game, but they're actually learning something. So we'll start with a couple overview questions. What is the game you're playing? What is the object? What do you know about this topic, and then also looking at some of the science that's encountered in the game and then finally, learning about a specific topic in the game? What had what is it that the students have learned? Next up is our comprehension and out. So you can create an activity like this or a handout like this, for games that you use in your learning environment? These questions are specific to chemistry flux, if you take a look at the video on YouTube, you'll see those questions. Also, finally, the vocabulary matrix. So this is where you take terms, you put them on the left column, and then you create a, b, c, and d columns. And for each column, you have a different task related to that term. So for example, task a using the game, give the definition as it appears on the card, then give your own definition of the term B, write a sentence using the term and find someone to share your sentence with see draw a visual representation of the term, and D give it two examples of the term and two non examples or two related words in two non related words by comparing and contrasting. So this vocabulary matrix is something you can implement for another game where students encounter different terminology. And finally, is our create your own cards handout for chemistry flux. This is perfect for chemistry flux, because it's a very simple basic game. And it doesn't take a lot of game design knowledge to come up with cards for the game. On our handout, we walk you through or walk students through how and things, how and what you might consider when coming up with creating cards. For the game. There are some different gold cards, keeper cards and action cards in the game, and we talk about how you come up with creating cards for chemistry flux, so they have a chance to play the game, then they have a chance to apply their knowledge by coming up with their own cards for the game. So we went over the context for how and why we might use a tabletop game as part of our game based learning lessons. We also looked at how to pull the learning outcomes from a game. And then finally, we looked at some examples of design supplemental materials based around a table topic game. So you can use a lot of these ideas for any content area or any different skill that you are trying to target as a part of your Lesson objective. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out podcast at Board Gaming with Education comm thank you for checking out our video cast this week. We'll be back next week with an interview from Dan from filament games to talk more about game based lesson design, so be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel below. And if you have any questions, comments, please leave one below. We'll be back next week.
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